iPad Wi-Fi Woes?

Published on April 5, 2010
by John Paczkowski

Though a marvel of design and engineering, Apple’s iPad, like most first-generation devices, is not without flaws. Just two days at market and already some new iPad owners are flocking to Apple’s support forums, complaining about temperamental Wi-Fi connectivity.

“I have…noticed very weak wifi signal in my 16GB iPad,” one post to Apple’s iPad support discussions reads. “Even when standing in front of the wlan router the signal fluctuates from strong to very weak. The router has very strong signals as every other computer here has full signal strength, even 20-30 meters from the router. So there is definitely a wifi signal issue here with the iPad.”

“I’m having the same problem,” reads another. “iMac, Macbook, Macbook Pro and iPhone all work great 3 rooms from my house (all connecting through an airport). My iPad is only getting 1/3 on Wifi and frequently dropped the connection.”

This is obviously a supremely annoying problem since Wi-Fi is the iPad’s only means of connecting to the Internet.

It is not yet clear how widespread this issue is. As I write, there are several iPad Wi-Fi-related discussions on Apple’s support forums, the largest of which hosts about six pages of comments.

That said, I have not had any problem with my iPad–moments ago, I streamed a Netflix (NFLX) movie to it from the sidewalk in front of my house–and my informal poll of friends and colleagues who own the device turned up no reports of weak or temperamental Wi-Fi connections. Which is not to say they don’t exist or that they’re the result of user error, just that they appear to be fairly limited in scope at this point.

In any event, Apple (AAPL) has posted two support documents (1, 2) for iPad owners to troubleshoot ornery Wi-Fi connections.

UPDATE: A commenter below points out a list of potential fixes.

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